Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  I thought HIPAA required you to get my permission for  every use and disclosure of my health information.  Don’t you need my permission to talk to other doctors?

A. While HIPAA regulates all uses and disclosures of your health information, it also allows for many uses and disclosure of your health information to occur without your authorization.  HIPAA specifically allows covered entities, like Washington University, to share your health information with other physicians or providers who may be taking care of you and with your health insurance plan for payment purposes.  HIPAA allow us to use your health information without your authorization to carry out certain administrative, financial, legal and quality improvement activities that are necessary to run our business and support our treatment activities.  Our Notice of Privacy Practices explains how Washington University may use and disclosure your health information with your written consent or authorization in detail.

Q.  How do I get a copy of my medical records?

A.  You may request a copy of your outpatient medical record from the Washington University Health Information Release Service.  A copy of the request form can be downloaded on this site.

If you need a copy of hospital records, you will need to request those directly from the hospital.

Q.  What if I find something in my medical record that is wrong or that I disagree with?

A.  You have the right to request that information in your medical record be amended or supplemented with clarifying information and added in the form of an addendum to your medical record.  The HIPAA Privacy Office will review your request with the author of the subject PHI prior to making a determination of the request for amendment and will review and act on your request no later than 60 days upon receipt of your written request.  You can find information on Amendment Requests on our Patient’s Rights and Related Forms page.